The Knicks have played three playoff games with Carmelo Anthony in a starring role and though not a large sample, it’s enough for us to draw several conclusions. The first one is that the Knicks will never win anything with Melo on their team. Here’s why…
Carmelo Anthony is Allen Iverson with 5 more inches and 30 more pounds, and he has as many rings as Iverson. After nine years in the league, Carmelo has passed the first round of the playoffs just once. Nine years!
So just how has he played in his first playoff series with the Knicks? Game one was abysmal. He shot 3 for 15. A complete non-factor. Game two he took 26 shots and made 12 of them. Game three was probably his worst of the three because even with LeBron in foul trouble and left sitting on the bench for over seven minutes, Anthony finished the night going 7 for 23; that’s 30.4 % shooting folks!
And here is what makes that so unbelievable and proves that he’s not ready for primetime and does not belong with the more MVP caliber type NBA players-The majority of the night he was guarded by Shane Battier who completely took him out of his game. Shane Battier?! Could you imagine Shane Battier taking Kobe out of his game? Or shutting down Kevin Durant or Josh Smith? He’s making as much as they are and demands the ball as much as they do, so why can’t he play as well as them? Shane Battier is a nice player but when was the last time he garnered a Defensive Player of the Year Award?
Except for a few minutes in some games, Carmelo simply cannot play defense. He also does not help the other players on his team play any better. And, more importantly, he does not come through in crunch time; not when he ends up shooting a dismal, non superstar-like 22-64 or 34% from the field through three games.
Then there’s the drama he brings to the table; first when he came back from a groin injury which was right after the Knicks, via Linsanity, went 7-0. The question was, could Melo be happy and get the ball enough with Lin on the court? The next ten games after Melo’s return, the Knicks went 2-8 while Anthony averaged just 19 points a game. Then it was can Carmelo co-exist with Amare? Then how long can Melo thrive under D’Antoni’s run & gun system? Since he attracts the most attention and gets paid the most, he should play the best, right?
Look, if Carmelo was the second coming of Larry Bird (which he probably thinks he is) then Denver would never have let him go in the first place. But it didn’t work out there and it’s not working here. It will never work here. If I could whisper into James Dolan’s ear the way Isaiah Thomas can, I would tell him to unload him somewhere and get someone who is unselfish, can score, and play D.
Carmelo got the money he wanted, got the team he wanted, gets to play in the World’s Greatest Arena, and was instrumental in getting Mike D’Antoni fired leading him to get the ISO’s under Mike Woodson that he so desperately longed for every night. So what’s the problem? The problem is he’s a fraud. He’s just Allen Iverson with 5 more inches and 30 more pounds and that’s all he’ll ever be.